Of course, in our patriarchal culture, straight men are not supposed to like Kathy Griffin, which is why she is supposed to appeal to gays and women. I found this one photo of Kathy online with the caption "You can't see her penis," I guess because she is...not hot enough to be in the spotlight? How come she felt so bad about her looks she got tons of plastic surgery but Jay Leno has been on TV for years looking like that?
Anyway, as previously mentioned on this blog, I really hate stand-up, finding it dull and lame and joke-y in this sad set-up way, but Kathy Griffin's set-up is really great! (And she is better than Chelsea Lately, who I feel has more than a touch of internalized patriarchy, man) And it's great because she just tells mean, funny stories about celebrities. No puns, no exaggerated capering, she just dryly comments on the retardation of fame. It's like talking to a hilarious and well-connected friend. In many ways, I think she subverts the whole masculine idea of stand-up and comedy by being so chatty yet sharp and rejecting 90% of what stand-up comedy is about.
Also, her show, My Life on the D-List, is great. She really makes an effort to include female/feminist comedians, and how could you say no to an episode where she goes shopping with Margaret Cho and Cyndi Lauper or re-enacts the opening of Golden Girls with Betty White and her mom? Here are some hilarious photos of her dressing up to hang with Paris Hilton:
She is also constantly getting in trouble and being banned from The View and stuff for going too far, which always makes for a funny anecdote about Barbara Walters. At a New Year's Eve telecast:
"Shut up!" she yelled at a heckler. "You know what, screw you! I'm working! Why don't you get a job, buddy!"
Then the "My Life on the D-List" star added: "You know, I don't go to your job and knock the dick out of your mouth."
CNN deleted the exchange from recorded repeats of the telecast, but the original airing had already made its way onto popular file-sharing sites like YouTube.
Here is a really amazing discussion from Marie Claire about female comedians. Please read it. Kathy talks about how:
After Suddenly Susan, I went to every network and said, "What if you put four funny chicks together? Not newcomers, but four women who are proven in television: me, Jennifer Coolidge, Megan Mullally, Cheri Oteri, or Molly Shannon..." And the network people said, "What about Carmen Electra?
Can you imagine a show like that? Can you imagine?!
Here's a few more interesting quotes:
RIVERS: I was the first permanent guest host they ever had on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Then one day, a friend of mine who was the vice president at NBC got an internal memo saying, "When Johnny leaves, here are the 10 people to replace him." And I wasn’t on the list — it was all men.
GRIFFIN: The last time I was on Leno, he turned to me during the commercial break and said, "Why aren’t you up for my job? You should get a late-night show on Fox." And I said, "Jay, I’m very flattered, but tell that to [Fox president of alternative entertainment] Mike Darnell." Have you met Mike Darnell? He’s like 4'11" and puts on shows like Joe Millionaire. That’s who I’m dealing with.
CAROL BURNETT: When I started, the head of CBS said, "Variety is more of a man’s field: Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle ... We’ve got a great sitcom pilot you could shoot. It’s called Here’s Agnes." I could just picture it: "Heeeeere’s Agnes." Oh, God.
Anyway, this discussion is really interesting, and Kathy Griffin is great. In a perfect world, she would have a show with Cheri Oteri and all that. Like, I still can't quite get over that Jimmy Fallon has a late-night network show. If there's any proof that comedy is a lame boy's club, that is it.